Miss H, just getting caught up on your thread! Is he allowed to take the boys out of state without your permission?? If he is I would get that taken care of. You both should give the other the courtesy of letting each other know when the boys will be out of the state.
One of my friends has it stated in her divorce decree that if the kids are going to be out of state with her ex, she needs it in writing 2 months before. No last minute vacations there!!
I know you have come along way, continue on the path to being independent...your own place, that is a great start...going to school for a new career...excellent!! Don't let the things he says bring you down!! When he gets on a roll, black him out immediately and think about all the good things you have done!